AnglingTrust The voice of Angling


Operation CLAMPDOWN 6 to target illegal fishing during close season


VBS general picture x550px

Operation CLAMPDOWN 6 – the annual blitz on illegal coarse fishing during the close season – launched on 15th March with 464 reasons not to flout the law.

That’s the current number of Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiffs in England who will be taking part by keeping watch on their local rivers and reporting any suspect activity to the Environment Agency and police.

That number will also be increasing throughout the close season as more volunteers are inducted and join the highly successful Voluntary Bailiff Service initiative.

Anyone caught and prosecuted for fishing illegally during the close season faces a maximum fine of £50,000 upon conviction.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The message is simple - don’t take the risk of a fine and a criminal conviction. Last year, Environment Agency Enforcement Officers ran 670 close season patrols, reporting 122 anglers for illegally fishing in the close season. The chances of being caught out are even greater this year, thanks to the support of Angling Trust VBS members.”

Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager, Dilip Sarkar MBE, a retired West Mercia Police officer, said: “This annual multi-agency operation is an important one, providing an ideal opportunity for all partners to work together, protecting fish and fisheries. Our volunteers, trained to report incidents and information to a high evidential standard, contributing to the intelligence-led system, are essential to this process and we are grateful to each and every one.”

There are still plenty of opportunities to wet a line for coarse fish whilst rivers and streams are off limits. The vast majority of stillwaters and canals will be open - check your local byelaws for the list of sites included within the statutory close season.

All full licences now run for 365 days from purchase, make sure you know when yours expires.

The Voluntary Bailiff Service is currently recruiting in East of England, in readiness for the mandatory induction and training day being run in partnership with the Environment Agency and police on 12th May, 2018. Anyone wishing to apply should contact

Additional notes and links:

  • You need a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence if you are aged 13 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England (except the River Tweed), Wales, and the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland.
  • Licences cost £30 for up to 2 rods to fish for coarse & trout, £82 for salmon & sea trout. Concessions, short term and three rod coarse licences are available. Buy online here
  • Anyone witnessing illegal fishing incidents in progress can report it directly to the Environment Agency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. Information on illegal fishing and environmental crime can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Further information on the Voluntary Bailiff Service can be found here

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
twitter_icon_large facebook_icon_large
Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

Site by Nemisys
Powered by FixturesLive